Linguistic Max conquers Mandarin

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STUDENTS in the Dispatch district who picked a language as part of their GCSEs will be counting grades in French, German or Spanish among their recently-revealed results.

But few will be able to match 16-year-old Max Campion, of Hucknall. For among the ten GCSEs he achieved was one in the Chinese language of Mandarin!

The teenager chose to study the tough subject at the Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham and sharpened up his linguistic skills during a trip-of-a-lifetime to study in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

When it came to choosing his language GCSE option, Max was clear he wanted to do something different and said: “I’d really enjoyed the few classes in Mandarin I’d taken in years eight and nine, so I was keen to study it at GCSE level.

“It’s a very difficult language to learn because it’s so different to anything I’ve heard before. But with the help of my teachers, I feel I’ve learned a lot.”

In July, Max joined five of his classmates on the trip to China where they stayed at Beijing Wangfu School, located in the Changping district, and took part in language and cultural classes including tai chi, sports, dance and music.

Max said: “The trip was amazing. It helped me improve my speaking skills and learn more about the culture and customs in China.

“The school day was very long — from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm — but we also got to see some of the amazing sights in China. I’d definitely love to go back and put my language skills to good use.”

Max was among 267 students from Djanogly who received their GCSE results — but was one of only six who picked up a qualification in Mandarin.

Djanogly is one of only a handful of schools in the UK to have Confucius classroom status, which means it has been recognised for teaching Mandarin Chinese and for work in promoting the teaching of Chinese language and culture throughout schools in the East Midlands.

Max is planning to stay on at Djanogly to study A-levels as part of his dream of becoming a doctor.

He is also a regular volunteer at the Headway charity shop on Hucknall High Street.

OUR PHOTO shows Max with the certificate disclosing details of his Mandarin success.